These days, Batman is dead serious in Christopher Nolan’s gritty trilogy about Gotham City’s Dark Knight. Why so serious? Because for a long time, Batman was anything but. There were a lot of wacky comic book adventures, the highly campy Adam West TV series from the 1960s, and that Joel Schumacher thing with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze that most of us try to forget. Of course, now that we have the new Academy-Award-winning Batman saga, we can much more easily relax and enjoy the funny side of the Caped Crusader without fearing that it will ruin any chance of getting him taken seriously. Batman, these days, is the epitome of cool, the unstoppable guy, the guy who will always win if he has time to prepare. That makes him fun. So let’s take a look at 10 funny things about Batman, be it classic clips or the things the internet can do to whatever it loves.
1. The Bomb
We have to start with a focus on the Adam West “Batman” from the 1960s. A ridiculously colorful psychedelic bit of wackiness, it featured flashing title cards for punching sound effects, Bat as a prefix for anything from a computer to shark repellant, and a lot of goofball fun with folks like Cesar Romero as the Joker, Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and Frank Gorshin as the Riddler. However, the calm rock in the midst of all this was West as the unflappable straight man dressed in the silliest of costumes. As we see here, the comedy was played to the hilt, as Batman finds out that some days, you just can’t get rid of a bomb.
What? Exactly. If you’ve listened to “Macarron Chacarron” by El Chombo, you’ll know that’s about as close as you can come to putting into writing the weird-ass chorus that sounds either like a guy trying to speak through a mask or the kind of thing that little kids imagine dumb guys blurt at all times. However, when you combine that with the dopey-looking head of Adam West’s Batman doing a weird spastic pseudo-dance, you get the most random bit of unsettlingly consistent hilarity the internet can conjure. It’s hard to say WHY this is funny, and after a minute, you may not think it’s funny anymore, but give it another 30 seconds or so after that point, and it will get hysterical all over again. Let it go for the full 9 minutes, and you’ll be certifiable.
3. Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Recently, after years of the highly-acclaimed “Batman: The Animated Series” which paved the way for dramatic animation of all kinds, Warner Bros.’ animation wing decided to hearken back to the more fun and kid-friendly days so exemplified by West’s series, but with a modern spin. Thus, this show ran for three seasons, featuring Diedrich Bader as the voice of Batman, who teams with a revolving door of wild superheroes like Plastic Man, Booster Gold, the fourth-wall-breaking Bat-Mite and the show-stealing boisterousness of Aquaman. What other superhero show would figure out a way to include Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross? Check out this collection of clips from the show’s first season.
4. That Voice
Even in Nolan’s ultra-serious Batman films, there are some things to laugh at – and the most mocked aspect was Christian Bale’s growly Bat-voice. It was subtle enough in “Batman Begins,” but in “The Dark Knight,” he had to give monologues in it, and it just started sounding sort of ridiculous. And that’s what this spoof video is taking great delight in teasing him about, illustrating Batman’s journey towards finding that right voice.
5. The Riddle That’s Too Hard
And in another win from the College Humor crowd, a second spoof video takes the piss out of the mental duel that happens between the enigmatic quizmaster The Riddler and the hyperintelligent Dark Knight Detective, most notably in beloved video games like “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Arkham City.” What would happen if there was one time the master of riddles managed to confound the hero?